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North House Folk School
North House Folk School

Traditional Finnish Ski Poles: Craft Your Own Set

Enhance your winter adventures with these lightweight, durable ski poles which are based on the types used by northern Minnesota Finnish immigrants for winter travel.  The poles are constructed with birch shafts, copper rivets, whitetail-tanned buckskin grips, and moose rawhide and bent birch baskets.  You will make your custom-sized ski poles using age-old techniques passed from Finnish ski maker Marvin Salo (whose father was a master ski maker trained in the old Saami school of ski construction) to long-time instructor emeritus Mark Hansen and now to your instructor Ian Andrus, who has completed a multi-year apprenticeship with Mark. This course is a great complement to the Traditional Birch Ski making course.


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Course Details

Length in days:


$170.00 per student (Regular rate)
$150.00 per student (Early-bird rate)


Beginner to Advanced

Making it happen:
  • When should I enroll?
  • Do you take last minute registrations?
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You will need the following tools for this class:

  1. your favorite carving knife
  2. tape measure
  3. pencil
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.
Ian Andrus Ian Andrus

Ian lives in the woods outside Grand Marais without running water or electricity in a yurt he built himself, spending much of his time gathering wild foods, firewood and craft materials. He is inspired by traditional lifestyles and is always seeking to uncover the lost art of living off the land. Aside from yurts Ian makes black ash and birch bark baskets, birch bark canoes, and other utilitarian crafts. Ian is a former North House Folk School intern.

More about Ian Andrus
Traditional Finnish Ski Poles: Craft Your Own Set